Temple of the Opal Goddess is an adventure for 4-6 characters of levels 5-8. It is presented in a 44-page PDF and sets the adventurers the task of rescuing a noble who has been captured by orcs. Unfortunately for the adventurers, the orcs are holding him in a temple dedicated to the “Opal Goddess”, who is far more demonic than godlike, and it she who is responsible for the kidnapping in the first place. To free him, the adventurers will not only have to defeat an organised tribe of orcs but must also brave the dangers of the temple.
The adventure manages to subvert the expectations of the players a couple of times, which I like. The first part of the adventure works as a standard “break into the stronghold” scenario, with the orcs using prepared tactics to defend against intruders. I appreciate that the tactics are described, as determining what multiple combatants do and where they make their stands is difficult to do on the fly. The players can also sneak in or otherwise avoid a pitched confrontation when the orcs are at their strongest; the players have a lot of agency.
I particularly like the role-playing that occurs between the adventurers and the captured noble and his girlfriend, who is, in fact, the “goddess” in disguise. There’s the potential for a lot of misdirection here, and the adventure can develop in interesting ways.
Things get more mysterious in the dungeon level, where an odd effect is slowly turning everything to stone, and a lone archivist works, chiselling works of history and religion onto stone tablets.
I like the overall story of this adventure very much, but I have a few problems with its presentation. There are a lot of rooms in the upper level of the keep, and for the most part, they’re extremely dull. This is a barracks. This is a kitchen. This is a latrine. Fans of dungeon naturalism will enjoy this, but most are skippable. Likewise, the ten-day journey from Baldur’s Gate and the random encounters presented don’t add anything of significance. It’s not all without merit, however; there are rooms with interesting features, and the lower level contains many interesting things to discover.
Stat-blocks are presented in the appendix for all the monsters in the adventure. The maps are excellent, and the writing is mostly good, although occasionally verbose. While I’m not overfond of the mundane nature of most of the upper level, it is well described.
Despite my perception of a few niggling flaws, this is a solid adventure that should appeal to players, Recommended.